CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Efforts to protect jaguar habitats from Mexico to Argentina, coastal areas in southern Australia, and vital ecosystems along the Colorado River all have one thing in common: academic institutions have become the lynchpin to making these innovative initiatives happen.
The strategic role of these institutions, from colleges and universities to research institutes and field stations, is documented in a new volume published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Conservation Catalysts: The Academy as Nature's Agent, (November 2014/368 pages/Paper/$30/ISBN: 978-1-55844-301-3), edited by James N. Levitt. The book is being launched officially today at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.
Twenty-first-century conservationists are contending with biodiversity loss on an unprecedented scale, compounded by the interrelated threat of climate change. These global challenges call for first-rate talent, highly sophisticated technology, and advanced financial and organizational tools that can be used across jurisdictional boundaries and professional disciplines.
According to Levitt, a fellow at the Lincoln Institute and a pioneer in the implementation of large landscape conservation, academic institutions have quietly become surprisingly powerful and effective catalysts for integrating all these elements into strategically significant and enduring large landscape conservation initiatives.
Conservation Catalysts: The Academy as Nature's Agent gathers more than a dozen first-hand accounts of the long-term impacts academics are making on the ground, from the University of Nairobi to Harvard. With measurable results, their efforts are protecting wildlife habitat, improving water quality, building sustainable economies, and creating better public amenities around the world now and for centuries to come.
Conservation Catalysts: The Academy as Nature's Agent will be available for free downloading in its entirety, as part of the Lincoln Institute's continuing innovations in digital publishing.
The book is structured to identify key themes of biodiversity, regional collaboration, and legal and financial mechanisms inherent in conservation at the landscape scale.
Part I, Regional Conservation Initiatives, includes The Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative of the Harvard Forest, Harvard University, by David Foster, David Kittredge, Brian Donahue, Kathy Fallon Lambert, Clarisse Hart, and James N. Levitt; The University of Montana, Missoula: A Campus with an Ecosystem, by Gary M. Tabor, Matthew McKinney, and Perry Brown; and Research Networks and Large-Landscape Conservation and Restoration: The Case of the Colorado River Delta, by Karl Flessa.
Part II, Biodiversity Conservation at the Landscape Scale, includes Saving the Florida Scrub Ecosystem: Translating Science into Conservation Action, by Hilary M. Swain and Patricia A. Martin; Catalyzing Large Landscape Conservation in Canada's Boreal Systems: The BEACONs Project Experience, by Fiona K. A. Schmiegelow, Steven G. Cumming, Kimberly A. Lisgo, Shawn J. Leroux, and Meg A. Krawchuk; and Working Landscapes and the Western Hemisphere Jaguar Network, by Joe Figel.
Part III, Sustainable Development and Land Conservation, consists of The Kenyon College Land Conservation Initiative, by Douglas L. Givens; The Quiet Corner Initiative at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, by Mary Tyrrell, Matthew Fried, Mark Ashton, and Richard Campbell; Alternative Futures Modeling in Maine's Penobscot River Watershed: Forging a Regional Identity for River Restoration, by Robert J. Lilieholm, Christopher S. Cronan, Michelle L. Johnson, Spencer R. Meyer, and Dave Owen; and The Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem and Greater Maasailand: Building the Role of Local Leaders, Institutions, and Communities, by Robin S. Reid, Dickson Kaelo, David K. Nkedianye, Patti Kristjanson, Mohammed Y. Said, Kathleen A. Galvin, and Isabella Gambill.
The critical elements of Law, Policy, and Organization are addressed in Part IV, with Law as a Cornerstone of Conservation Policy: United States Law Schools as Conservation Catalysts, by Federico Cheever and Nancy A. McLaughlin; A Walk on the Beach: Catalyzing the Conservation of Victoria's Coast, by Geoff Wescott; Karukinka: A New Model for Conservation, by Guillermo Donoso; and Conservation Easements as a Land Conservation Strategy in Trinidad & Tobago, by Karena Mahung.
Part V, The Contribution of the Humanities, concludes with Colorado College's Large Landscape Conservation Strategy to Save the Colorado River Basin, by Alex Suber; The Drowning Fish: Large Landscapes and the Burden of Significance, by Blair Braverman; and, as an additional feature, a poem: "Body of Bark," by Caroline Harvey.
A special session is set at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney to mark the book's publication, on Tuesday, November 18th, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm at the Protected Planet Pavillion. Jim Levitt will be joined by Gary Tabor, executive director of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, fellow at the University of Montana Center for Natural Resource and Environmental Policy, and author of the chapter on the Crown of the Continent initiative; and Geoffrey Wescott, associate professor at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and author of chapter on coastal zone management in the Australian state of Victoria.
A critical component of academic institutions as catalysts – students – will also be recognized at the IUCN World Parks Congress, in the session "Young Conservation Catalysts: Voices of a New Generation," scheduled for Monday, November 17th, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm in Hall 3 Nth Pod. These young leaders are involved in initiatives worldwide. The speakers, Alessandra Lehmen, Brendan Boepple, Delaney Boyd, Fabian Huwyler, and Priscila Steier, have written essays in a competition led by the Lincoln Institute, that will appear at GlobalPost in the Voices section of The GroundTruth Project, a foundation-supported initiative dedicated to training the next generation of foreign correspondents in the digital age. The commentary highlights social justice, innovation, and change.
In addition to being a fellow at the Lincoln Institute in the Department of Planning and Urban Form, James N. Levitt is director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, and a senior fellow at Highstead. He has been instrumental in the formation of the Practitioners Network for Large Landscape Conservation and recently brought together more than 30 leaders from around the world to form an international conservation network.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is the leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high-quality education and research, the Lincoln Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy.
SOURCE Lincoln Institute of Land Policy